For years Senator Charles Schumer of New York has been a driving force in the battle to abolish low quality business method patents, the type that patent trolls regularly use to attack businesses with vexatious lawsuits. He authored Section 18 of the America Invents Act, which is known as the transitional program for covered business method patents. The purpose of the program is to create an effective and fair post grant review for business method patents used in the “practice, administration, or management” of a financial product or service.
Score one for the good guys. Rackspace and Red Hat just defeated Uniloc, a notorious patent troll. This case never should have been filed. The patent never should have been issued. The ruling is historic because, apparently, it was the first time that a patent suit in the Eastern District of Texas has been dismissed prior to filing an answer in the case, on the grounds that the subject matter of the patent was found to be unpatentable. And was it ever unpatentable.
On Thursday March 14, 2013 the House Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet held an important hearing entitled “Abusive Patent Litigation: The Impact on American Innovation & Jobs, and Potential Solutions.” Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia summed up the patent troll problem perfectly in his prepared remarks: